APPLE VALLEY – Colonel Paul Cook, USMC (ret.) announced today his campaign for San Bernardino County Supervisor in District 1.
Cook stated, “After twenty-six years in the Marine Corps, my attention turned first to local government. And while I’ve been called to serve in other capacities such as Congress, my focus has always been on empowering communities and making sure local residents have the strongest voice in decisions that affect them. As supervisor, I’ll work to carry out the will of my constituents, while fighting the bureaucracies in Sacramento and Washington DC that seek to overrun rural communities like ours.”
Last month, current supervisor Robert Lovingood announced he would not seek reelection. Supervisorial District 1 includes Apple Valley, Victorville, Hesperia, and Adelanto, as well as smaller communities such as Trona near the northern county line and Needles on the Arizona state border.
Cook continued, “Our region has always been at the forefront of attempts to balance economic, recreational, and ecological needs. I’ve fought for our communities at both the state and the federal level and know that by building consensus and coalitions, we can position our region as a go-to area for businesses, tourism, and most importantly, job growth. As always, I’ll keep an eye toward public safety and work closely with our sheriff, sheriff’s deputies, police, firefighters, and other law enforcement officers and first responders to protect our families and our property. Good communities are built upon good public safety, and I’ll never waiver on my commitment to keep out the criminal element and give our families peace of mind. I’m also committed to utilizing my transportation expertise for the county and to addressing veterans homelessness.
“Serving in Congress has been an absolute honor, and I’m proud of my numerous victories amid a tough partisan atmosphere. Our high desert needs continued strong leadership at the county level, and I pledge to fight for this area with the same dedication and conviction I’ve demonstrated my entire career.”
A twenty-six-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Cook has been a staunch advocate for veterans locally and around the nation. Cook has represented the entire 1st Supervisorial District for nearly seven years in Congress. In that time, he’s authored legislation and advocated for countless issues specific to the High Desert, including the following:
- An amendment to address damage to local military bases, including Fort Irwin, caused by recent earthquakes.
- Authored successful legislation to create the first national system of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation areas and designate or expand six off-highway vehicle areas locally, including Johnson Valley, Spangler Hills, El Mirage, Rasor, Dumont Dunes, and Stoddard Valley.
- Authored successful legislation to protect critical wilderness areas permanently, while allowing economic development and recreational use in areas unsuitable for conservation.
- Fought to allow sale of surplus military equipment to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office to ensure they have the equipment necessary to fight heavily armed drug cartels and terrorists. (This type of equipment was utilized during the response to the San Bernardino terrorist attacks in December of 2015.)
- Cosponsored and voted for HR 4854, the Justice Served Act, which provides additional resources to state and local prosecutors to address the backlog of violent crime cases involving suspects identified through DNA evidence.
- Jump started creation of an Urban Warfare Training Center at Fort Irwin, with the goal of developing a new training space to allow troops to prepare for the most modern forms of urban warfare overseas.
- Supported reform legislation for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to speed up response times and provide improved service to our nation’s veterans.
- Authored successful HIRE Vets Act to promote hiring of veterans and recognize businesses that do so.
- Cosponsored legislation to allow for the clearing of dead trees and other fuels that contribute to devastating wildfires.
Cook also announced the following initial endorsements for his supervisorial campaign:
- Supervisor Robert Lovingood
- Supervisor Janice Rutherford
- Supervisor Dawn Rowe
- Supervisor Curt Hagman
- Assemblyman Jay Obernolte
- Assemblyman Chad Mayes
Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after twenty-six years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.